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New Federal Rule Expected to Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue

A new federal trucking regulation is expected, on average, to prevent 562 injuries and save 26 lives each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The rule is aimed at preventing truck driver fatigue, which has long been a problem in the trucking industry.

Specifically, truck drivers will be required to log their hours of service with Electronic Logging Devices instead of paper logbooks.

Most truck drivers and trucking companies meet the high standard of safety established by the FMCSA, but trucking negligence is still a factor in far too many wrecks each year, often leaving victims with catastrophic injuries.

To prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, commercial truck operators are not allowed to drive for longer than 11 hours at a time, and bus drivers are limited to 10 hours at a time behind the wheel. Drivers of these large vehicles have historically been allowed to record their work hours in paper logbooks, which in some cases have been falsified.

The industry-wide move to Electronic Logging Devices -- or ELDs -- will help eliminate the risk of falsified records and help roadside safety inspectors uncover violations.

It is estimated that about 3 million truck and bus drivers will be affected.

Many truck and bus drivers already use ELDs, but the new rule establishes a long-awaited standard. Drivers who still use paper logbooks have two years to comply with the new rule.

Critics of the ELD requirement complained that information obtained from the devices might be used to harass bus and truck drivers, so the FMCSA included specific language in the new rule to protect drivers from harassment.

Truck accident claims are particularly complex because of the many federal regulations and the possibility of multiple parties being liable.

Anyone in Mississippi or Louisiana who has been injured in a truck wreck should speak with an experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Evidence in these cases is time-sensitive, and trucking companies and insurance companies use their significant resources to reduce or deny accident claims. These companies are in business to make a profit, not to help accident victims who need compensation for their injuries.

In short, the insurance company is not your friend.

Please see B. Geoffrey Harrison P.A.'s truck accident FAQ to learn more.

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